The Cronulla Sharks take on the St. George-Illawarra Dragons tonight in one of the true local derbies of the modern game. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.30pm AEST.
Cronulla have been flying in recent weeks with three wins on the trot, a major sponsorship deal signed and a newfound belief at the club.
Meanwhile, the Dragons have had a strong enough start to the season with three wins from five, but they’ve so far failed to convince pundits they’re the genuine premiership threat of years past.
Either way, form tends to go out the window in a match like this. This is reflected in these teams’ head-to-head history; despite the Dragons’ success and the Sharks travails over the past decade, neither side has stamped its authority on this fixture.
For Cronulla, the workmanlike talents of Paul Gallen have been key as always, but it’s the injection of playmaking class that has arguably made the difference so far.
While he’s yet to show the Dally-M medal winning form of 2010 with the Roosters, Todd Carney has managed to come up with the big plays when they counted — something the Sharks have lacked in recent years.
As far as team news goes there’s only one change for Cronulla, with Jon Green added to an extended bench.
St. George-Illawarra have named the same side as last week, though there are whispers Matt Cooper may be called into the side at the last minute — we’ll let you know as news comes to hand.
On paper, the Dragons definitely have the advantage in the backs, and if the likes of Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale can come up with big performances that will go a long way to a Dragons’ win.
If the Sharks’ can control the ball, however, I think they’ve got the firepower in their forwards to get on top here.
Can the Sharks make it four on the trot or will the Dragons once again assert themselves as the premiership contenders of recent years?
One thing’s for sure — it’s going to be a cracker. Join us from 7.30pm AEST for live score updates and debate on our live blog, and be sure to give us your opinion in the space below if you’re watching.